April 30, 2014

Book Review: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

I think it took me longer to read Sherlock Holmes than it did to read War & Peace. Reading a large book like this on your Kindle has the advantage of not weighing you down on your daily commute. It has the disadvantage of not letting you know how many pages are actually in the book until you decide one day, to Google it. 

1,796 pages. 

Damn that was a long read. I won't bother with a synopsis because let's face it, if you don't know who Sherlock Holmes is, I can't help you.

Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character in history.
Sir Ian McKellan will soon be joining this list.
I will include this synopsis though:

From Good ReadsThis single volume contains all 4 novels & 56 short stories about Baker Street's most famous resident.

The 4 novels are:

A Study in Scarlet 
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles 
The Valley of Fear 

and the 56 short-stories are collected in 5 books:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes 
The Return of Sherlock Holmes 
His Last Bow 
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

My Thoughts: It's hard not to like Sherlock Holmes. There is something about these stories that have captivated audiences for over 100 years. I loved reading the short stories. They were intriguing and had all of the wit and fascination that I expected from them. The novels on the other hand, I didn't enjoy, with the exception of The Hound of the Baskervilles (which I'm actually watching on Sherlock right now). The novels are interesting at first, but then they dive into long histories of the crime that go back as far as 20 years in some instance and, while they provide context to the crime, don't really help further the story in any capacity.

I've always loved Sherlock Holmes (I even dressed as him for Halloween one year!) but one thing I didn't love about these stories is that it is completely impossible to try and guess the outcome of the crime. While Holmes practices the 'science of deduction', he solves his crimes by paying attention to details...details which the reader isn't exposed to. It's impressive nonetheless, but there is no mystery to be solved for the reader.

While I would recommend Sherlock Holmes to everyone, I wouldn't recommend The Complete Sherlock Holmes. It took me almost two months to read! I'll share some of my favorite short stories so that if you ever have an itch to dive into the tales of the famous detectives, you can do so with these.

The Adventure of the Red-Headed League
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter
The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
The Final Problem
The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
The Adventure of the Priory School

So, there you have it. 

What's the longest book you've ever read?
Have you read Sherlock Holmes?
What or who is your favorite portrayal of Sherlock Holmes? Hands down, mine is Robert Downey Jr. 

April 29, 2014

{On Running} What's Next?

I want to thank everyone for all of the sweet words and support on yesterday's race recap of the Nike Women's Half.

I can't even say it was a tough race because it wasn't. The Madrid Marathon is still the toughest race I've ever run but this race tore at my emotions in a way that is going to take some time to bounce back from. As I said yesterday, I don't know what this means.

I emailed my PT yesterday and am waiting to hear back from her. I found a new doctor to see and, while I can't get in to see him until next Friday, I'm optimistic that he'll get me back on my feet soon.

I really didn't think the race would go this way. I mean, my training runs were all fine. It isn't that big of a jump from 11 to 13 miles. The only explanation that I can give is that I went out too fast. My knee was in rough, rough shape yesterday. Today, it feels fine and the only lingering effect from the race is the tightness in my right hamstring.

In the four years I've been running, I've always followed Hal Higdon's Zero Week plan for the week after the race (despite never actually following a Hal Higdon training plan).

This plan has me off until Thursday and then running an easy 2 miles. I'm obviously not going to run if I'm still having pain, but if I'm pain free, I'm going to go out and try to run those 2 easy miles to see how I'm feeling. Obviously if I feel the slightest twinge, I'm going to stop.

I mentioned yesterday that I just signed up for another race. For years, I've been trying to get The Pilot to run a Half with me. For years, he's said no. Well, shortly after we got engaged, he finally caved and said he would run a Half with me before the wedding. So, last week, we signed up for the Alexandria Running Festival, a 13.1 mile race right here in the DC Metro area.

The Pilot has always run a few miles here and there. Yesterday, I told him to go out and do 6. He did 7. He's actually enjoying training and feeling good about it. He was coming with me on the first half of all of my long runs and it's fun running together. I so badly want to run this Half together and right now, I don't know if that's going to happen.

Let's not even talk about the fact that I thought I would feel so good post-race that I would sign up for a Fall Marathon.

I have a 4-miler planned for the end of June that I was hoping to train for to start getting some speed in, but for now, everything is on hiatus. I have 27 days until Alexandria and I'm going to take them step by step, day by day (oh hey 90s TV show reference!).

Emotionally, I'm not as much of a mess I was yesterday or the day before, but we'll see how things go. As always, I'll keep you all updated.

Thanks again for all of the well wishes. It's times like these that make me realize just how much I love blogging and this entire community of runners and bloggers. 

April 28, 2014

Race Recap: Nike Women's Half Marathon DC

Going into this race, I was a huge ball of nerves. All I wanted out of this race was to run...start to finish...with no knee pain. I didn't care if it took me 3 hours. I just wanted to have a good race.

I knew it wasn't going to be my fastest time, or even close to it. I just wanted to feel good and finish strong.

The race started at 7am. I got there around 6:25 and walked around for a little while. They had tents of Nuun and I grabbed some before making my way over to the corrals.

I had an 8:00-8:59 pace bracelet. I knew I wouldn't running that so I lined up a little bit further back, I think somewhere with the 9:00-10:30 group. The corrals were chaos but once the race got underway, it thinned out and stayed pretty thin through the Finish.

This was my 11th half marathon and in every one of them, I've had with me my Garmin, my headphones and a handheld water bottle.

Going into this race, I didn't bring any of those things. I just wanted to take my time, stop at the aid stations, focus, and pay attention to anything my body was trying to tell me.

The first mile came up quickly. It was great. It was an absolutely gorgeous DC morning and I loved running alongside the Capitol.

My knee was a little bit twingy in the first couple of miles, but for the most part I felt ok. I had a horrible stomach cramp that lingered through almost the whole race.

I made a quick pit stop at Mile 4 and then moved on. I felt like the race was going really quickly as we made our way up and on to the Memorial Bridge. We came off the Bridge and went down the Rock Creek Parkway for a quick turn around. We hit the 10k and I realized that I was feeling good...really good. I knew that this would be a long stretch to the tip of Hain's Point and this was the part of the race I was most worried about but I was feeling great. I had a smile on my face as we came across the steps behind the Lincoln Memorial and I was really excited about how I was feeling.

No knee pain, my stomach cramp had dulled and we were coming up on Hain's Point, which is where I first hurt my knee last Fall. I was ready for my Hain's Point redemption and this was about to be it.

I knew The Pilot would be at Mile 8 and I was so excited to see him and tell him how great I was feeling. Somehow, we missed each other and I made my way forward. Then somewhere between Mile 8 and the 15k mark, my knee gave. It was the exact same pain I had 6 months ago. I pulled over and stretched out for a bit, massaged my knee, tried to get it moving again and started running again. I felt ok, but every couple of steps, the pain would come shooting back.

By Mile 10, I had to start walking. It hurt too much to run. I tried run/walking frIom 10-11 but it was hurting more and more to run and by the time I got to 12, it hurt even to walk. I wasn't about to quit at this point in the race but I was devastated. As we came under the bridge at L'Enfant Plaza, I started crying. I was so upset that this was happening. I didn't care that I was walking, I didn't care about my time or that I was moving slow, but it devastated me that this was happening.

Shortly passed Mile 12, my knee buckled. I almost fell over. I just kind of stopped in the middle of the road not knowing what to do. I tried to keep moving and two girls came over to me, told me I was going to be fine, that I could do it. One of them was having really bad foot pain. We chatted for a little bit and then, we could literally see light at the end of the tunnel with a wall of screaming spectators and a giant TV screen showing the race. One of the girls said, "There it is, that's the finish! Keep going!" So, I started to run. It hurt. Horribly. Every step I took was sending shooting pains through my knee. I wanted to stop, but I couldn't, I was so close. I saw my friends just before the turn off to the Finish and I pushed on. At this point, I was biting my lip because it hurt so bad. I saw the Finish and while, sprinting wasn't an option, I just pushed as hard as I could until I crossed.

I have to say, the Finish Line was spectacular. Aside from the men in suits with tray's of Tiffany's necklaces (the biggest draw of the race), they had a Refresher station complete with yoga mats, foam rollers, trainers to help you stretch, a phone charging station, mirrors, dry shampoo, lip gloss and face wipes. Yes, this race was expensive, but the amount of detail that went into this race was unparalleled and went above and beyond. I was definitely impressed and would definitely run this race again...if for no other reason than redemption.

I finished in 2:25:55. It was under the 2:30 that I thought I was generously hoping for. According to my splits, I was running a 10:14 pace to the 5k and a 10:07 to the 10k. Maybe I should have worn my Garmin because in all of my training runs, I've been averaging about a 10:30 and I wonder if I just went out too fast.

I'm crushed. This race went exactly the way I feared it would. I don't care about my time or pace. I'm happy that I finished but I wanted this to be my comeback race. I wanted to cross that Finish Line with a smile on my face and finally feel like I'm back. I just signed up for another half in 4 weeks. Now, I feel like I'm back where I started. Am I going to be out for another 6 months now?

I haven't had knee pain like this in 7 months. I took 5 months completely off, spent 3 1/2 months in PT, and did everything I could to come back the smart way. I ran my long runs of 6, 8 and 11 miles and felt good or great through all of them. So what the hell happened?

I have no idea what's next after this. Obviously a lot of rest/icing/anti-inflammatories this week. Probably a trip to the PT, possibly a trip to the doctor.

So there it is. That's how the race went. I've said before not to call it a come back. I guess I was being smart. 

April 24, 2014


Feeling... frustrated. I had a miserable commute this morning.

Reading... the Lonely Planet guidebook to our currently undisclosed honeymoon location!

Drinking... coffee.

Watching... I haven't watched much TV this week. Still working on getting through The Complete Sherlock Holmes...according to my Kindle, I'm 86% of the way done. SIGH.

Anticipating... this weekend's race! It'll be my first race in almost a year and I'm really nervous about it.

Wishing for... a good race. I don't care if it takes me 3 hours. I just want to feel good from start to finish. I want to EARN that necklace!

Seeing in DC... There's no better way to see DC than to run 13.1 miles through it. This course mimics almost every other DC race, and since it's been well over a year since my last DC race, I'm excited to race through home again.

Loving... That The Pilot and I signed up for a half-marathon together!!!!!!!!!! Details to come after I get through Sunday!

It's almost the weekend.
I can't wait to lay low all weekend until Sunday and then eat copious amounts of brunch food!

April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

Hello! Happy Easter!

This weekend I realized that Easter might very well be my favorite holiday. I had a long, but great weekend.

Friday, we got out of work a little bit early for the weekend and I headed to Reagan to catch a flight home to New Jersey. Everything was on time and I landed just after 7, headed to catch the train, which I missed because NJ Transit decided to park the train at the station without opening the doors. Luckily, my cousin Jen was on that train and decided to get off and wait around with me before taking me to my mom's house for Good Friday fish dinner.

After an amazing feast of fish and a lot of desserts, I headed to bed.

It amazes me, no matter how comfortable my bed in DC might be, I always sleep like a log when I go home.

Saturday, I woke up and my mom made a fantastic breakfast for me, her and my grandma. Then, it was time to get to work! We headed into her sewing room and I got to see how my wedding dress is coming along!!! It was the first time trying it on that it actually started to look like what my dress will look like...even though it's only one piece right now.

After my fitting, it was time to pack up and head back to the airport after a super short trip home. I think I was home for a grand total of 15 hours.

While I was at the airport, Ally texted me to let me know that she had decided to ditch London for the weekend to see her honey. Knowing that you can't get barbeque in London (never mind good barbeque), I took Ally and her Italian sweetie to Hill Country BBQ for a feast.

Sunday, The Pilot and I got up and headed to church. We went to a Mass said by the priest who will be marrying us and it was awesome...definitely one of the best Easter Sunday services I've ever been to. 

After church, we headed into DC for brunch at the place where we're having our wedding reception. I had heard great things about their brunch but hadn't been yet. It was exceptional. On top of that, when our waitress came over, she said, "First of all, let me congratulate you. Take these mimosas compliments of myself. So, the big day is in September, right?"

Umm what?! We had no idea how she knew! It was awesome and the food was just exceptional.

When we got back home, it was time to lace up our shoes and head out for a run. I had 10 miles on deck and The Pilot agreed to join me for the first 5. I didn't feel great...my knee was twingy the entire run, but somehow I still managed to push for an extra mile and go for 11. I felt like I would feel better going into this weekend's Half with 11 under my belt, rather than just 10, even if they didn't feel great.

Post-run, we vegged out, made dinner and watched a movie.

It was a long weekend and work was super busy today, but it was a good weekend and I'm glad to have gotten home for a little bit of it! This week, I'll be taking it easy until Sunday when I toe the line for my first half marathon in almost a year! I'm nervous, but excited and I feel good about yesterday's 11 miles pushing me through the finish!

Any tips for a one week taper?
How was your Easter weekend?

April 18, 2014

Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

When I first started this blog, one of the things on my 25 before 25 list was to read all of the books on the Newsweek's Top 100 List. I later changed that to half realizing that the task was tremendously ambitious when books like Middlemarch, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina were on there. I read 49 of them and gave up. I hated most of the books I read. I abandoned the list in an effort to read books I actually wanted to read. 

Recently, my friend Carolann sent me a new list - Amazon's Top 100 list. Thinking this might be more of an accurate reflection on what the world is reading since the list is based on readers' picks, rather than book sales, I decided to check it out to see how many I've read.

Note: The books aren't ranked, rather, they're listed alphabetically 'to ensure that no book is deemed more important than another.'

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  4. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
  5. A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived Edition by Lemony Snicket (I have this on my Kindle)
  6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  7. Alice Munro: Selected Stories by Alice Munro
  8. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  9. All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (I have this on my bookshelf)
  10. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt
  11. Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  12. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  13. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  14. Born To Run – A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
  15. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  16. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  18. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  19. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
  20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
  21. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 by Jeff Kinney
  22. Dune by Frank Herbert
  23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  24. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson
  25. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  26. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  27. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  28. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond
  29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  30. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  31. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  32. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  33. Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
  34. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  35. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  36. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  37. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  38. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I loved this book and was sad to hear of Marquez's passing yesterday at the age of 87).
  39. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
  40. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  41. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  42. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  43. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  44. Moneyball by Michael Lewis
  45. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  46. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  47. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
  48. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  49. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
  50. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  51. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  52. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  53. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  54. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  55. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  56. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
  57. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  58. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  59. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  60. The Color of Water by James McBride
  61. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  63. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  64. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (no interest)
  65. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  66. The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (loved this book)
  67. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  68. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  69. The House At Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
  70. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  71. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  72. The Liars’ Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr
  73. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
  74. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  75. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  76. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
  77. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  78. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
  79. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
  80. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  81. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver (may be my favorite book ever)
  82. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
  83. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
  84. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  85. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  86. The Shining by Stephen King
  87. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  88. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (really want to read this after reading The Paris Wife)
  89. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (read this in college, excellent book)
  90. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  91. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  92. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki Murakami (highly recommended to me)
  93. The World According to Garp by John Irving
  94. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  95. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  96. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  97. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  98. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  99. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  100. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

So 39 out of 100. I won't say I plan to read all of them. Some, I just have no interest (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Fault in Our Stars)...but I definitely plan to read some of them and I'm glad I have a new book list to choose from. I've just about finished all of the books I bought at last year's library sale so I think a trip to the library is in order...that is, until I make it to another library book sale!

Updated on 4/27/15: 6 books read since original post.

How many have you read?

April 17, 2014


Feeling... productive.

Reading... still working my way through Sherlock Holmes and The Five Love Languages. My friend Carolann just sent me I am Malala so that's up next.

Drinking... water...and way too much of it. Note, drinking through a straw will cause you to drink absurd amounts of water.

Listening to... The Norah Jones station on Pandora. It's my favorite. Now playing, Of Monsters & Men.

Watching... I've been catching up on my DVR this week. Lots of Parenthood, Growing Up Fisher, Parks and Rec and Big Bang Theory.

Anticipating... a trip home and my next dress fitting with Mom!

Wishing for... a solid 10-miler this weekend that will give me a good feeling going into Nike next week.

Seeing in DC... The Cherry Blossoms are gone and winter has seemingly returned, but my goodness they were unbelievable.

Loving... that wedding planning has come to a stand still for the time being.

There you have it!
Happy Thursday!

April 16, 2014

The Five Stages of Injury Recovery

Stage 1. Denial
Stage 2. Anger
Stage 3. Bargaining
Stage 4. Depression
Stage 5. Acceptance

I didn't go through any of these symptoms when I first hurt my knee. What started back in June as a 'holy-sh*t-I-blew-out-my-knee' moment turned 'I-feel-fine-let's-start-training-for-a-marathon' turned 'holy-sh*t-I-blew-out-my-knee-again'...lather, rinse repeat...eventually turned into being sidelined.

I stopped running in October when I dropped out of the Marine Corps Marathon. I didn't actually see a doctor until November and I didn't start PT until December. I probably could have sped this whole recovery process up by about 2 months if I had just gone to the doctor, but I didn't. I knew something was wrong and I thought rest would be just fine. I was complacent.

I never went through any of the five stages of injury oddly enough, until I actually started running again at the end of February.

I skipped the Denial stage. Well, kind of. It took me a really long time to finally admit to myself that I wouldn't be able to run Marine Corps despite knowing for awhile that I shouldn't be running the race.

I was never really angry either, just frustrated. I was diligently doing my PT exercises and I HATED the freaking elliptical. Even when I started running again, I was really frustrated that I didn't feel great on my first run.

Here's a dose of denial for you: I honestly thought that my first run back would feel amazing. I thought I would feel on top of the world and that I would be so happy to be running again that nothing else would matter.

In reality, it felt so had. I felt uncoordinated, unbalanced, and despite all of my cross training, so out of shape.

Enter bargaining: Well, if I balance cross training with running and PT exercises, I'll be back to my usual running in no time! Running a 10-miler in 5 weeks will be easy! A half in 8 weeks? No problem! Just be a good little patient and keep up the XT and PT.


I still don't feel great. I'm finally starting to feel good on my runs but the first two miles are always tough, no matter how good of a warm up I do.

Depression. Saturday night, I sat across from The Pilot and told him that I was scared I would never love running again. I was scared I would never have a good run again and might never run a marathon again.

(Note: I know that you don't have to run marathons to be a runner but I freaking love the marathon and every part of me is itching to toe the line of another 26.2.)

Sunday morning, I woke up and ran 8 miles. It was the best I've felt post-injury. I didn't feel great, but I felt pretty damn good. My knee is still a little bit twingy and I was more sore after those 8 miles than I've been after 18, but I know that my body is just relearning how to do this again. I'm being pretty damn smart about this recovery and while I'm so much slower than I've ever been before, I know that my focus right now just needs to be on putting one foot in front of the other and when running finally starts to feel great again, I can start thinking about trying to get faster.

So, those are my five stages. It's been a long road to recovery but I'm a lot luckier than most people. I didn't need surgery. I wasn't in a boot. I wasn't sidelined for a year. I could run, I chose (at the advice of my PT) not to, in order to really build the strength I needed to prevent another running injury and ultimately, I'll be a better runner because of it.

It wouldn't be right to write a post about running without, in some way commemorating last year's Boston Marathon. I wrote this post reflecting on the tragedy and every word of it rings true today.Watching the news yesterday, my heart broke all over again for those who lost their lives, their family members, those injured and wounded, and those who ran. For everyone running Boston this year, especially those who ran last year, I hope and pray that you have the best race of your life next week. 

April 15, 2014

Wedding Things VIII: Wrapping It All Up

Our wedding is in five months!

One of my favorite bloggers, Jenn, got married this weekend and it wasn't until she wrote this post on all of the things about her wedding that she's looking forward to, that our own wedding finally started to feel real.

In the last month, we've just about finalized all of the details. We worked out all of the details with our florist, hired transportation and reviewed the first mock up of our wedding invitations. My sisters (and college bff) ordered their bridesmaid dresses and aside from some final paperwork, we finished Pre-Cana. I had my hair and makeup trial and my dress is coming along (slowly, but surely).

Everything left is little details. Designing our programs, making our play and do-not-play lists, finalizing and sending out invitations, getting our marriage license...little details.

It still doesn't quite feel real, and it feels soooo far off. Everyone has told us that our engagement would fly by and it really hasn't, at all. I guess that's a good thing, but I'm just really excited to be married and to celebrate being married with all of our friends and family members.

Wedding planning has been great. It's been so much fun and so easy and I'm so excited to see how everything comes together.

I probably won't write another wedding post for awhile since just about everything worth writing about is done! According to my checklist, we're way ahead of schedule. I'd like to keep it that way, so I'll definitely be checking off some more things in the next month or so, but I'm really feeling like everything is taken care of.

The things I will be working on in the next few months? Some DIY work for our centerpieces, finalizing our invitations, and designing our programs. Oh, and booking our honeymoon of course! There isn't really much else that can be done until around July when we hit the two month mark, and that's great!

This is exactly how I wanted wedding planning to go. Smooth. Easy. Our conversations have shifted from wedding planning back to normal life and that's perfect. I find myself only thinking about the wedding a handful of times a week, rather than on a daily basis and that's awesome.

I'm so excited for the spring and summer months and for the moment when our wedding finally doesn't seem so far away!

April 14, 2014

A Perfect DC Weekend

This weekend was incredible.

It was absolutely perfect. The weather was unbelievable. Forget spring, we went from snow right into summer. With temperatures in the low 80s all weekend, DC was amazing this weekend.

On Friday, The Pilot and I got home from work at the same time and headed out to grab a quick bite to eat before I headed to a Yoga for Runners class with my friend Laura. The class was just what I needed going into the weekend and afterwards, The Pilot and I grabbed some froyo and called it a night.

We slept in a little bit on Saturday and I made scrambled eggs for breakfast. Then, we headed out to pick up some Bikeshare bikes and made our way through the masses of DC tourists to the Tidal Basin for a paddle boat ride among the cherry blossoms.

The cherry blossoms are absolutely amazing this year and I'm glad that we took the approach of seeing them from the water this year, instead of attempting to make our way through the crowds on the Tidal Basin.

Selfies on the water
Black Ops heading to the White House
We were on the water for an hour and had so much fun! Floating on the water between the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial with the cherry blossoms in peak bloom were prime cause to sit back, relax and talk about how much we absolutely love this city.

After our boat ride, we headed to the Washington Monument to meet up with my cousin Jen who was in town. We spent some more time on the Mall before wandering over to Sweetgreen for lunch. While we were there, one of my friends emailed me and asked if we wanted his tickets to that night's DC United game, so we hopped on a pair of bikes and headed over to Dupont to pick up the tickets, stopping for Shake Shack along the way.

We stopped off to take Peyton out and then headed to the game.

I had gone to one DC United game before we moved here (almost 4 years ago) and I think the stadium has gone way south since then. RFK Stadium desperately needs to be knocked down. Aside from the fact that the place was falling apart, they had maybe 5 concession areas open in the entire stadium. On top of that, everyone in the stadium was SMOKING! I was shocked to see that and when I checked on my phone to see if that was allowed, I saw that smoking is prohibited in the stands. The fact that that rule isn't at all enforced was crazy and it made for a less than enjoyable experience. United beat the NY Red Bulls 1-0.

Post-game, we headed out to Dupont to meet up with some friends at GBD. Aside from the fact that my beer was terrible and my food never arrived, we had a good time and stayed out way too late.

Sunday morning, I slept in and then dragged my feet around for ages before I finally convinced myself to get out the door for my 8 mile run. I was really nervous to get this run in. The Pilot came along with me for the first half of the run and we decided to go out 2 miles and back 2 miles so that at my furthest point in the run, I wouldn't be more than 2 miles from home in case I needed to stop.

My favorite spot on my run: Gravelly Point {via}
Well, I didn't. I finished the run and I felt better than I have in months. For the first time, I finally feel like I'll be ready to toe the line at Nike in 2 weeks. I came home and stretched, foam rolled and iced for what seemed like hours.

We grabbed Jimmy John's for lunch (my guilty post-run pleasure), took Peyton for a super long walk, ran some errands and headed to church. We made dinner together and then relaxed on the couch, finally putting our feet up after a long, busy weekend.

That was my weekend! How was yours?
Have you ever been paddle boating?
Ever been to DC during the cherry blossoms' peak bloom?

April 10, 2014


Feeling... not too shabby. I slept like a baby on Tuesday night and slept ok yesterday.This sleep thing has majorly thrown off my schedule and I'm having a really hard time waking up at my normal time, but I'm hoping it gets back to normal soon.

Also feeling...tremendously annoyed that everyone thinks I'm not sleeping because I'm stressed about the wedding...which I'm not. At all.

Reading... same as last week. The Complete Sherlock Holmes (which I just found out is 944 pages...I'm reading it on my Kindle so I had no idea) and The Five Love Languages.

Drinking... Water.

Watching... I'm so glad The Mindy Project is back on TV. I seriously love that show. That scene in the airplane last week? Hilarious. Mindy Kaling is amazing.

Anticipating... a very DC weekend with the Cherry Blossoms in peak bloom.

Wishing for... my knee to stop being so bum and just cooperate already. I'm doing everything I can to stay smart about this injury. 4 1/2 months off plus PT and a slow return to running should mean that I'm fine. 

Seeing in DC... Cherry Blossoms! Flowers! Spring! Farmers Markets!

Loving... warm-don't need a jacket anymore weather and the fact that pool season no longer seems so far away!

April 7, 2014

A Sunny DC Weekend

What a weekend! This weekend was jam packed and super busy but so much fun!

Friday after work, I met up with my friend Katie for drinks in Chinatown. We decided to split a bottle of wine because it had been a crazy week for both of us. After drinks, we headed over to Poste to share some food and and down a few beers before calling it a night.

Saturday I was up bright and early to meet Abby for coffee before DC Fit. We started the morning off with a barre class and then were off to a nutrition panel featuring Allison. I sampled some of the snacks from Sweetgreen, Sweat Leaf and Jrink before Abby and I tried to take a yoga class but left after they ran out of mats.

I headed home to meet The Pilot where we planted ourselves on the floor of Barnes & Noble to go through the travel section to start planning our honeymoon!

Then it was off to the airport to pick up Holly who was in town for Cherry Blossom! Holly's awesome friend Steph was in town and we had such a great weekend! We started the night by having dinner at Vapiano. I met up with some other friends there and stayed for a good bit after Holly and Steph left catching up with them.

Sunday morning I was up bright and early to go spectate Cherry Blossom. It was kind of a bummer watching a race that I should have been running but I know that dropping out was the smart thing to do.

Post-race, we went to brunch at Matchbox before heading home to freshen up for the Nationals game.

I finally got excited about baseball season when I walked into Nats park on Sunday afternoon. Even though I hate the Nationals. Even though the Mets are going to be terrible this season. Even though it wasn't my team, it was baseball. And it was glorious.

We spent the afternoon at the game and then headed to Georgetown to grab cupcakes at Baked & Wired and then wander around for a bit before calling it an early night.

It was awesome having Holly in town! We had so much fun with her friend Steph and The Pilot and are already planning another girls' race weekend...hopefully one I'll be able to run in!

Despite walking over 22,000 steps yesterday, I still managed to get in a 2.5 mile run when I got home. It was very twingy and didn't feel great but I'm hoping I can resume my training this week with the aid of some tape and PT.

We'll see. T-3 weeks to the Nike Women's Half.

It's a cold, rainy day in DC today. Hope it's sunny wherever you are!

April 4, 2014


Feeling... ok. I started taking a non-habit forming sleep aid this week. So far, it has worked twice. I slept well last night but couldn't wake up until 8am so I'm a little out of it.

Reading... Sherlock Holmes still. I decided not to just abandon it after reading the four novels and have kept on with the short stories, which I'm really enjoying! I also started reading The Five Love Languages at the recommendation of a lot of friends.


Watching... I started watching Sherlock which I'm on the fence about. I don't know that I love Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes but I'm going to give it a few more episodes before I decide.

Also, How I Met Your Mother. I hated the finale. Hated it. Not just because they killed the mother. HIMYM was a sitcom. It's supposed to be funny. Having the gang break up 20 years down the road, while realistic, isn't comedy. Ugh. I'm still angry about it.

Anticipating... a BUSY weekend! Tomorrow, I'm going to DC Fit with Allison and Abby. Then, Holly comes to town and we're grabbing dinner! Sunday morning is Cherry Blossom! While I'm not running, I'm hoping to be out cheering and jumping in with friends. Post-race, Holly and I are heading to the Nationals game...first baseball game of the season!

Me and Holly at the 2013 Cleveland Half!
Wishing for... my sleep schedule to return to normal. I've slept two full nights out of the last nine. This needs to stop.

Seeing in DC... DC Fit is at the Longview Gallery. I've never been there, does that count?

Loving... that it's Friday <3.

Have a great weekend!

April 1, 2014

April Showers...

It's April.

While it's still a little brisk, winter finally seems to have left us. It has been a long, brutal, at times unbearable winter. I'm still longing for shorts and flip flops weather, which still seem a long way away, but I'm finally starting to feel like winter is coming to an end.

This month, I will *hopefully* run my the Nike Women's Half Marathon. It won't be fast and it might not be pretty but the 6 1/2 miles I ran this weekend give me a little bit of confidence moving forward with my training. I'm slightly terrified of the 8 miles I have on deck this weekend, but if I can make it through that run, I'll feel great going into the rest of my Nike training.

With the warmer weather, I'm starting to be a little more motivated to get some stuff done so I've made a list of goals for the month of April. A lot of them reflect my goals for the year, so here goes!

  1. Keep up with my PT exercises as part of my workout routine to get to a healthy start (and finish!) of Nike.
  2. Get back into meal planning. Don't buy lunch at all during the work week.
  3. Start organizing my recipes (and actually making them).
  4. Make macaroons from scratch. 
  5. Finish the last of the big wedding details and start working on the smaller ones. 
  6. Organize the linen closet (this has been on my to-do list since January). 
My number 1 goal for 2014 was to get my knee better and start running healthy again. I feel like crossing back over into double digit miles will let me cross that goal off, so we're almost there! (Well, that and you know, getting married.)

So, that's what I'm working on this month. What about you? Any races on the agenda?
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